In today’s episode, Rachel Epplin-Rincker shares her Crohn’s story and how she went more than 20 years undiagnosed. With symptoms from the time she was a baby until her early adult life, she was dismissed by doctors, believed to be anorexic, and slowly worsened as the years went by.
Finally, in her early 20s she demanded a colonoscopy and the diagnosis was conclusive: Crohn’s Disease–her colon was actually collapsed and inflamed so much that the doctor couldn’t even finish the colonoscopy. She was immediately put on medications and eventually started treatments with Remicade that finally put her on a path to healing.
Through the 10 years since her diagnosis, Crohn’s continued to give her challenges. She talks about how it affected her fertility and shares her experiences with IVF treatments–including a miscarriage and later a healthy boy–and then how, when her body finally reached full remission and a healthy state of being, she was able to conceive naturally.
Rachel shares her advice for women with IBD who are considering getting pregnant and talks about the importance of expressing your concerns and discussing all your questions with a doctor who is understanding and acting as a partner in your healthcare. Find a physician who will present you with facts and data and help you in making your own decisions along the way for balancing IBD and pregnancy. She also encourages patients who are newly diagnosed or still undiagnosed to keep track of symptoms and document everything that you are experiencing to become a better advocate for yourself and get the care you need.
We’ll pick up with part 2 of Rachel’s journey in next week’s episode where she shares how her journey to health continued after beginning Remicade and the birth of her babies, and how both diet and nutrition played a significant role in helping her achieve complete remission.
Follow Rachel on Instagram @rachelfitmom